A Wee Dream of Auld Scotland
Today’s the last of my (and my boyfriend’s) holiday in Scotland. Tomorrow I fly back to London and to work. He flies back to Copenhagen. It’s been a surprising discovery how beautiful lies the land of the Scots. We were lucky with the weather. Sometimes it rained but in almost every case, drive 10 minutes in any direction and the rain’s cleared and the sun out. The colours we saw were truly magnificent – the blue of the sky, the misty cotton whites of the clouds, the verdant and kaleidoscopic greens of the mountains, the rustic greys and browns of tree trunks, the shimmering blue-green of the lochs, the reds and yellows of flowers. What a sight for the eyes! Someone should take a whip to the foggies at the Scottish tourist board for doing a fantastically bad job at promoting this beautiful country.
The mountains provided a spectacular mise en scene that never failed to aah and wooh. We romped through castle ruins, saw shows at the Edinburgh fringe festival, cruised Loch Ness looking for Nessie, ate at Michelin star restaurants (Number One at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh and Andrew Fairley at the Gleneagles Hotel) amongst other good eateries (The Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery in Glasgow, the Loch Leven seafood restaurant and dinner at the Loch Ness Lodge all deserve a special mention), drove for hundreds of miles on mountain roads, took photos at the many specially set parking spots and enjoyed the oft acknowledged friendliness of the Scots. The final two nights we stayed at the golf famous Gleneagles Hotel where today we did sod all so as to rest our weary bones. We also spoiled ourselves at the spa. 🙂 A nice way to end our beautiful holiday.
As always the holiday’s been too short. One week and 2 days. For long-distance relationships, that’s like “hello” and “goodbye” and then it’s back to Skyping daily. Bless the lords of technology for this smart application. Still, we must do the best with what we have. Times were harder in years gone by and one gets a feeling for what it was like to be poor from reading some of Robert Burns’ poetry. Burns is Scotland’s national poet and I picked up a collection of his poetry at the Burns National Heritage Museum. He wrote Auld Lang Syne. In his Address To Beelzebub, he speaks to the Right Honourable lords of the land who were dreaming up “means and ways to frustrate the designs of five hundred Highlanders” who were so “audacious as to attempt an escape from their lords and masters whose property they are” by seeking to emigrate to Canada “in search of that fantastic thing – liberty”. I’d like to think that despite the (hated?) union with England, the Scots do not feel the need to flee their beautiful land to be liberated.